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Obesity drug collaboration for BMS and Solvay

Published on 19/05/04 at 07:53pm

Bristol-Myers Squibb and Solvay are to collaborate on the development and marketing of a novel phase I compound for the treatment of obesity and metabolic disorders.

BMS are paying Solvay $10 million to buy into the early-stage drug, SLV319, which belongs to a novel class of agents called CB1 antagonists, which work by blocking the cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptor.

Sanofi-Synthelabo's Acomplia (rimonabant) is another drug in the same class and is already in phase III trials, and could be used to reduce appetite and help patients quit smoking at the same time.

If the drug proves itself through further development, the collaboration could prove lucrative for the medium-sized Brussels-based Solvay, and BMS, which is continuing to look for deals to replenish its pipeline after a series of patent expiries.

"Our agreement with Solvay Pharmaceuticals serves as the latest example of our corporate strategy, which is designed to build long-term growth by focusing on high potential disease areas with unmet needs such as metabolics and obesity," said Peter Dolan, chairman and chief executive of BMS.

Metabolic syndrome is defined as a cluster of medical conditions that put patients at greater risk of cardiovascular complications. BMS says its expertise in producing metabolic drugs such as diabetes drug Glucophage (metformin) will be put to good use in the development of SLV319.



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